Your “Go Live” Website Checklist

When you’re launching a website, there are a lot of things to balance, whether it be content issues, client issues, coding issues, and so on. It is easy for some things to slip through the gaps.

In order to avoid that, here are a few simple things to keep in mind for every website you design. These are the little things that may slip through the gap:

* The Favicon: The favicon is the little icon that shows up in a web browsers navigation bar when you visit a site. It also is recorded when people bookmark a website. Create a favicon and put it into the root directory of your website as a way to brand your website.

* Title Creation: If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) or are making each individual page yourself, make sure that your page titles and meta data accurately describe your content and are keyword–rich.

* Browsers: Don’t just check your website using one web browser. If you use Internet Explorer, then also check older versions of IE, as well as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and mobile devices.

* Validate Your Website: The W3C is an international organization devoted to creating standard coding procedures for internet content. Check out their website ( for an online code validator. Simply enter your web address and it will check to make sure your code is up to standard. This blog ( has over 100 issues, so that is quite high, but its a trade off, making the site have the functions you want, often means it won’t be perfect code.

* Offer RSS: Does your site have regular content updates? If so, offer an RSS news feed so people can check out your website in the RSS application of their choice. If you are using a CMS, most of these have built-in RSS capabilities. If your site doesn’t receive content updates regularly (like a static business page), then don’t bother… Rather use Aweber to capture subscribers that you can then mail offers to 🙂

* Tracking: Have a way to track your traffic. Google Analytics provides free tracking services, and there are numerous others like Clicky and Mint. These services give you valuable information like total traffic, page traffic, and time spent at your website.

Just a few pointers there to ensure you have everything on the next site you build 🙂 – If you can think of any things that I have forgotten on this list that others are likely to overlook, please post them in the comments section below

Colin Klinkert Redesigned!

Today I’d like to tell you about the changes I recently made to my blog. It’s the first blog redesign I attempt (for this particular blog) and I must say I’m pretty happy with the end result. Most of you who visit my blog regularly must have noticed the changes already. I made changes to the navigation menu, about box, layout and footer. I also changed the RSS feed button and added an opt in box (make sure you download my new ebook by the way, simply enter your email address in the opt in form on the left). With these changes, it should be much easier for you to navigate throughout the blog. For those who have never visited the blog before, here is how it once looked:

The navigation menu was on the left side and the about box on the top. I really liked this navigation menu but wanted to add more links (to new pages of the blog, some are still under construction at the time this blog post is published). I also wanted the content to appear higher on the page and the opt in box to show up high in the sidebar. I didn’t make all those changes myself but got a designer / programmer to do it for me… and I’m very happy with his work! I had everything in mind before though.

If you scroll down, you will also notice that the layout has changed. In the past the home page was showing the ten latest blog posts (in their full version). Only one full blog post shows up at the top now, followed by two abstracts and a few archived posts. You don’t need to scroll down during hours anymore to find out what the previous blog posts are about. It is now much easier to find the blog posts that most interest you. I also added a testimonial… and there are more coming.

I’m pretty sure these changes will significantly improve the usability and I hope the new layout will help me grow the community I want to create on this blog. I’m sure these changes will make a difference! Anyhow, I hope you like the new design! Feel free to leave your feedback. A few weeks ago I also changed the design of my help desk, check out the following blog post for more info: Reply2Colin: New Design for Better Usability!

Important Small Business Website Tips

Tips for Small Business Websites

So you own or work for a small business, and it has been decided that now is the time to start your company’s web presence. Depending on your budget, you may hire somebody to design the site or you may do it yourself. Whatever you decide to do, keep these small business website tips in mind so that you don’t make a costly mistake:

• Keep It Simple:
Flash animations and high resolution images may seem like a great idea for your site, but they have several downsides. First, they require specialized knowledge. You won’t be able to just go in there and update the information, you’ll need to rehire the web designer. Then, they don’t work well with search engines because search engines cannot see what’s in them (so make sure you add descriptive alt attributes to images). Finally, not everybody has the internet connection speed or web browser capability to view the site. Try to keep things simple.

• Update your site often: Your website is essentially your location in the digital realm. Would you let the front of your business’ building become dilapidated, run down, and out of date? No, you’d maintain it so that it looks like a professional business. Same thing with your website. Keep it clean and keep it fresh in order to retain your customers.

• Focus on the customer: While you should have information about your company’s history and employees on the website (if applicable) only use the ‘About Us’ page for this. Everywhere else the main focus should be on the customers and how their needs are met by the products and services your company offers.

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is a necessity nowadays for all websites. If you’re building the website yourself, then do plenty of research (here are some important keyword research tips) either before or while you build it so that you can incorporate the lessons learned from day one. For SEO training and tools, visit SEOBook. For easy keyword and domain name research, you may use Easy Domain Research (available on CK Tools). Otherwise, hire a contractor or freelancer to take care of it for you.

I hope these small business website tips helped! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Colin Klinkert
Focus On Content

When the internet was young and web programming languages like JavaScript were first coming out, a flashy website was a big customer draw. Now, all those flashy graphics and design structures are passé. These days, internet users are far more sophisticated and are very skilled at finding the exact content that they are looking for. With that in mind, here’s a piece of advice: Forget flashiness, focus on content.

The term “bounce rate” refers to how many people dig into your site. If people link to one of your pages, but then immediately click out to another site, that is a bounce. If they look at one of your pages and then click through to another section of your website, that is a stick.

Which is more likely to cause people to stick around on your website, flashy graphics or compelling and informative content? If your content is well-written and engaging, and it provides the value of either information or entertainment to your audience, then people will stick around and spend time with your site.

Whether your website is designed to sell a certain product or makes its money from advertising, the longer a viewer stays on your site, the better. If the viewer immediately leaves, you won’t be able to charge top advertising rates on the site, and if they leave immediately, you never have a chance to sell them a product.

Compelling content is one of the most important, if not the most important, factor when it comes to creating a website that will be profitable.

Look at websites that attract you. How is the content delivered? Where are the big pieces of information located within that content? How easy is it to link from one piece of content to another interesting article or webpage? Apply the techniques that work for you to your own site.

Something I plan on doing in future is adding a training series via email for my members to opt-in to. try to deliver content in as many different ways as possible to appeal to all your readers prefered viewing and learning methods.

Colin Klinkert